7/15/2014Florida To Ticket Drivers Who Do Not Crawl Past Garbage Trucks
Move Over law in Florida expanded to cover garbage trucks and the cable guy.
Florida drivers who fail to slam on the brakes to drive past a garbage truck or the cable guy at 5 MPH will receive a $154 ticket and three points under new rules that took effect July 1. The legislature expanded the state's "Move Over" statute which the Florida Highway Patrol used to generate $1.3 million in revenue last year.
Previous version of the law only applied to emergency vehicles such as police cars, fire trucks and ambulances with their lights flashing. The new law applies to vehicles that do not necessarily have flashing lights, including sanitation vehicles and "a utility service vehicle [that] is performing a task related to the provision of utility services on the roadside."
Drivers who come upon a dump truck or utility vehicle must first determine whether it is simply parked, or performing some function on the side of the road. If that vehicle "bears an emblem that is visible from the roadway and clearly identifies that the vehicle belongs to or is under contract with a person, entity, cooperative, board, commission, district, or unit of local government that provides electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, cable, telephone, garbage, refuse, recycling or communications services," then the driver must make an immediate lane change away from the vehicle on a multi-lane road. If the nearby lane is occupied, or it is a two-lane road, the driver must hit the brakes and scrub off 20 MPH of speed before passing the vehicle. On most neighborhood roads, this means crawling past at no more than 5 MPH, the pace of a brisk walk.
Troopers have been taking advantage of motorist confusion over the law by setting up sting operations, pulling motorists over onto the shoulder for the purpose of issuing "move over" tickets that put motorists on the side of the road at risk, as there is no requirement to slow down for ordinary passenger vehicles.
According to Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles statistics, 6809 crashes were caused by improper lane changing or failure to maintain one's lane in 2012. Lane departures were seven times more likely to be the primary cause an accident than exceeding the posted speed limit.